Last week I had the pleasure of attending Dr Gabor Mate's talk at SMU based on the book he cowrote with Dr Gordon Neufeld called Hold On To Your Kids. At the heart of their message is that the relationship between parent and child is essential to child development, and that parenting is a lot easier when a child is properly attached to their parents. If something goes “wrong”, look at your relationship with your child, and start from there. At one point Dr Mate said something along the lines of “parenting is not a skill – it's a relationship”. I love that. Sure, skills, techniques and tricks are useful for getting through difficult moments (I'm a big fan of playful parenting). But when I've hit low moments with Alex, what has saved me is remembering that preserving our relationship is more important than any perceived 'win' in the moment. That's not to say I get this right 100% of the time (not even close!) – but, hey, it's a process, right?!
I encourage all parents to rush to their library or bookstore to get a hold of a copy of the book. Of course, you might want to wait a week – I have one copy of Hold On To Your Kids to give to a lucky winner! Just leave a comment below for your chance to win. Giveaway ends February 1st at midnight. Canadian residents only.
I was going to be all motivated and write a review of the talk and the book for you, but I admit I'm feeling rather lazy. So instead I'll point you to the direction of an interview with Dr Gabor Mate on CBC's Maritime Noon from last week. As well, a short excerpt of the book can be found here.